This was the tough story.

I suppose it’s because I’m nearly two months into the challenge. Dean Wesley Smith says this around the point where people drop off the challenge.

I started the story with the Week 80 prompt: Long life.

It was intended to be science fiction, but in hindsight, I think what I was intending needed an umbrella story. Meaning the theme would have been long life, but the story would have been about something else.

Three restarts on that and by Wednesday I had to go to plan B.

So I went with the Week 7 prompt: A dog finds a body.

That still took another four tries to work into the story. Inner critic kept popping its head up, screaming:

“The story’s not going to be done! The story’s not going to be done!”

Because if I don’t finish and turn in the short story by Sunday, the challenge ends.

So inner critic kept getting in there and monkeying with the story, trying to rush the plot to get it done. But that made the story worse and inner critic fussed about it being terrible (never mind that it was the inner critic’s fault for that!).

Saturday night, I finally did enough that I could call it done enough for an editing pass. Good, bad, or otherwise.

But that also gave my creative side some overnight time thinking about it. I came back Sunday morning, made an editing pass through all of it, chucked the climax, added two new scenes, and wrapped it up.

Turned out a lot better than my inner critic was telling me.

This one’s an urban fantasy called “Guardian Dog.”

Look for it to hit on the indie side. I’ll set everything up for it this weekend, but it won’t go to press until next weekend. I’m so prone to typos that are real words that I have to let it sit a week so I can spot those!

Edited to add: This story got a name change to Giant Hunter. While there is a dog in the story, with it in the title, I was likely to have it show up in searches for dog food.

Meanwhile, a cover!